Skanska, during a five-hour operation, has jacked Selby’s new swing bridge into its final position parallel to the River Ouse. The team is now working to prepare the bridge for commissioning when it will be swung across the river for motor traffic and back onto the bank for river traffic.
Weighing 1,203 tonnes, the 95 metre long, 18 metre wide, structure was moved sideways onto the slew ring mechanism by the side of the river on which it will pivot as it opens and closes.
The bridge, designed by High-Point Rendel, is the main structural feature of a new 10-kilometre bypass being constructed by Skanska for the Highways Agency that diverts the A63 around Selby. Engineering partner for the structure is Cleveland Bridge UK.
The contract includes the construction of a further five bridges along the new road. High-Point Rendel are Skanska’s designers for the whole scheme.
Highways Agency Project Manager Alan Begg said: “ This is the final part of the construction phase of the swing bridge, and we’re delighted with the progress made so far on site. The next steps will be a rigorous testing programme to make sure that everything is working correctly.”
The Selby bypass project is ahead of schedule and will open early in 2004. It is expected to cut traffic volume by 40 per cent in this North Yorkshire town that has for years suffered road congestion caused by traffic passing through on the A63. At present, 20-22,000 vehicles travel through Selby each day, just under 25 per cent of which are HGVs.